Jade chose to leave before the actual date of her deportation. She decided she would rather leave on her own accord and terms rather than wait for officials from the government to force her. Or however that worked. She didn't really know. Two days after they had returned from their trip, Jade had gathered only a few things and made arrangements to return to her island out in the Pacific. She said goodbye to everyone she knew… except Dave. She had looked for him but he had wandered off the moment the four of them had returned. Rose and John helped in her search but neither of them had been successful either. He hadn't gone to any of his usual places. Jade felt awful. Although that night during the festival was still really hazy, she remembered enough to know her behavior had been deplorable. She remembered kissing him and saying things she shouldn't have been saying. While drunk she had pretty much started blabbing about the truth that she hadn't even had the courage to tell him.

Rose admitted to her that she had told Dave the truth. After Dave had told her what occurred when Jade was drunk (Jade hoped he left out the making out part) Rose hadn't been able to keep it from him anymore. She had said that her hope was that Dave would realize how Jade actually felt. Obviously that hadn't happened and Jade couldn't blame him for that. It was so complicated and she didn't know how or why it had become that way. They had been best friends. Why did they both keep secrets from each other when they never had before? For Jade's part, she hadn't ever said anything about liking Dave. She'd had a crush on him for as long as she could remember but never brought it up. For some reason she thought it would be a burden to him. More than that, though, was her fear nothing would be the same. What she and Dave had was something she cherished. Admitting any deeper feelings might have changed that.

So she'd kept quiet while dropping all the hints she could to him. Maybe if he gave her a sign that the feelings were mutual, she could say something. But he hadn't or, if he had, she hadn't caught it. In hindsight it had been so stupid and Jade kicked herself constantly for it now. She had just been sitting there waiting for someone else to make the move when she should have just done it herself. Her fear of what might happen had kept her back. It reminded Jade a lot of her time on the island as a child. She had spent her days yearning to be rescued, to be swept off the island and into loving arms. She'd been all alone for a long time. Eventually, as Jade grew older, she knew that wouldn't happen. No one would rescue her but herself and so she would. Why hadn't she retained that attitude in this situation?

Jade rubbed her temples and curled up a little on the seat of the plane. Now here she sat, returning to that lonely life. She wouldn't even have Bec this time. When Elliot had confessed that he liked her, Jade had accepted without really thinking. She felt guilty about that too. It wasn't that she didn't like Elliot or that he didn't make her happy. It was just that he wasn't Dave. It made her feel like a fool. She was suppose to move on from him but she couldn't, not really. So all her mistakes had cost her and that was why she was sitting on this plane alone, taking off in just under twenty minutes to return to a life where her only form of human contact was a computer screen. It wasn't the same and it never would be now that she knew what it was like to be in the company of others for real.

The plane wasn't very full. In fact, it was pretty empty. She glanced over as two people moved past her seat and took the ones behind her. She sat alone in her row, head against the window as she watched workers below beginning to clear the area so the plane could taxi out. From here she would make two more connecting flights before a boat would take her to her final destination. Jade's hands tightened into fists in her lap. She would do anything to stay.

"Hey."

Jade jumped. She stood up so fast she nearly slammed her head into the low ceiling above her. She stared wide eyed at Dave standing in the aisle, hands in his pockets and shades on his face. It was actually a little comforting to see him being his cool kid self. She remembered at the festival before they'd gone to the bar that he had seemed a little off.

"Dave?" Jade whispered, almost wondering if he was an illusion. She shuffled out of the row and grabbed his arm. He was real all right. "You… What are you doing here? The plane is going to leave the gate any minute."

Dave pulled something out from behind him and held it to her. It was a book at first glance but then she realized it was a photo album. "You forgot this. I went through all the trouble to make it for you like you asked, you know. Be grateful, I had to battle crazy sisters to keep this shit safe and sound."

Jade stared. She had completely forgotten about that. She had asked Dave to put his photos of their trip together for her so she could always remember the last time she had spent with them all. She took it gingerly from his hand as if she was afraid it might break.

"You… remembered that?" she asked incredulously.

Dave shrugged and titled his head slightly away. She imagined his gaze had shifted off her underneath his shades. "Yeah, of course. 'Cause it was for you."

She hugged it to her chest and smiled, tears stinging her eyes. It wasn't from the gift, though. It was that she did actually get to see Dave after all. She dropped the book on the seat and threw her arms around him, hugging him tight. She buried her face into his neck and tried not to cry. The tears fell anyway.

"You asshole," she sobbed. "To just disappear today of all days and… You're such a fucking jerk!"

Dave drew his arms around her. "Yeah, I know. I… fuck. I'm sorry. I don't really have an excuse but just believe when I say I'm sorry, all right? Stop crying, jesus."

Jade shook her head and slammed her fist against his chest angrily. He winced because Jade didn't throw her punches when she was upset or angry. Truthfully, Jade felt all of the above and then some. She was also very happy. This way she could leave without regrets. Well, mostly.

"Don't be sorry, you're still an asshole," Jade replied but she laughed bitterly. "I'm sorry, too. I'm more sorry because I never told you about this until it was too late and I never told you anything in general. I was just scared and I… I don't know, but I'm sorry for everything."

There was a long pause as Dave just held her and she let him do it, clinging to the front of his shirt and hating that this moment had to end. Then she pushed back and blinked up at his face, tears still running down her cheeks. She smiled. "Thanks… for coming here and giving this to me. I'm glad I got to see you before I left."

Dave reached up and touched her face lightly, rubbing the tears gently from her face with his thumb. He knocked her glasses askew while doing so. "Yeah, well… don't mention it. Look, Harley… uh…"

He looked really embarrassed, head lifting just slightly. It seemed like he might be looking at something behind her before his gaze shifted back to her quickly. His cheeks were a little red and Jade couldn't suppress a giggle. She nuzzled his hand fondly, gripping it with her own and slowly lowering it off her face. Nothing really needed to be said, did it? At this point she understood and she realized he did too. What she had meant when she had been drunk and what Dave had been trying to say, it was all clear now between them.

"You have to go, Dave. The plane is going to take off. I don't even know how you got on here without a ticket."

"I didn't."

Jade blinked, adjusting her glasses with her free hand. "Huh?"

"This plane is empty as fuck, so I guess I can sit anywhere. If they raise a fuss I'll just be unmovable like the chilliest stone."

"Dave…" Jade started, confused.

"Dude, you are so lame. You didn't even kiss her."

"I agree. What a poor display of romantic affection."

Jade whirled around. The two people who had sat behind her were wearing the most ridiculous disguises she had ever seen but she would recognize their voices anywhere.

"Fuck you both, how can I do anything like that with your beady little eyes peeking at us like pervs? This isn't a fucking peep show," Dave grumbled.

"John? Rose?" Jade stammered, gawking. "What is going on? What are you guys doing here?"

John removed the beagle puss from his face and grinned. "Hi, Jade! We're here to go back with you."

Jade stared because that was all she could do in the face of that particular bomb. Rose also removed her disguise though Jade noticed she kept the ridiculous mustache. It looked like it had been drawn on her face, actually.

"He's speaking the truth. As it turns out, the lawyers decided my mother's money was not fit to be given to me and gave it to the state instead. While I suppose we could live without it and make our own way as so many do, none of us wished to do so without you. So with what we collectively had left, we decided to accompany you home. We only had enough for a one way trip, however."

"Yeah, but it's fine like that," John chimed in, draping his arms over the seat and grinning at her. "I mean, there's nothing really left for us here if we can't all be together."

Jade shook her head slowly in disbelief. "You… You're all crazy! You guys can't just-!" She glanced between the three of them. This was absolutely insane. iThey/i were insane. "What about school? And your jobs? You have other friends here, too! This might not be forever, but it might also be a really long time. PLus, living on this island isn't anything like what you're all used to. It's dangerous and you have to forge for yourself and–"

"You know," Rose interrupted, "and if Sburb has taught us anything, it is that we are more than capable of adapting to survive. I'm certain in time you'll teach us everything we need to know."

"Besides, it's not like we're completely cut off from the world," John laughed. "We've got the internet and I bet we can figure out how to get TV there. Mail still gets delivered there, too. I know for a fact it does, hehehe."

"You're there," Dave said quietly. Jade turned to face him, teary eyes still wide. She couldn't believe this was happening. His face was red but just barely. "That's all I really need to know to the make this decision."

John snickered and Rose just smirked knowingly. Jade buried her face in her hands and half laughed, half sobbed. This was crazy. This was so crazy. This was beyond crazy.

"Please, take your seats," a flight attendant told them as she was coming up the aisle. Jade shuffled back to sit and Dave took the sit next to her.

"Nice mustache, by the way," Dave quipped at Rose.

"Thank you. John insisted."

"Hehehe. She looks like some hard-boiled detective or something, doesn't she?"

"I prefer to see myself as a female Sigmund Freud."

"Bluh! That's boring, Rose…"

Dave glanced at Jade as she rubbed the tears from her eyes. They just kept flowing and she just couldn't stop smiling. They were out of their minds.

"Dave… You hate planes," Jade laughed and then sniffled.

"Yeah." Dave took her hand and intertwined their fingers, squeezing it lightly.

Jade lowered her other from her face and smiled, squeezing it back. "Don't worry. I'll hold your hand the whole time."

Dave smiled. "I know."


There will probably be a sequel sometime in the near future, but for now it's done! Thanks everyone for the feedback and for reading. :